Early spring

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As early spring is called in meteorology the early phase of the spring , usually from mid February to late March . According to other concepts, it is specifically the middle of March, or in phenology the onset of the vegetation period .

Day arcs of the sun in Central Europe, looking south (schematic)

The meteorological spring begins - on a statistical average - on March 1st, so the first third of the meteorological spring is generally called early spring . The date has been postponed by three weeks towards the astronomical beginning of spring, the equinox of spring (the ascending equinox, around March 21). In fact, late winter in mid-latitudes ends on average now around mid to late February, while the astronomical concept, which comes primarily from the calculation of the Easter date , is supposed to describe the maximum of the onset of spring: around the equinox, the daily extension of the clear day is highest, Within a week , the day is extended by around 23 (Bern or Bozen) to 30 minutes (Hamburg, up to over 4 min / d), depending on the latitude. At higher altitudes and latitudes , late winter can drag on into April or even May. Then the early spring changes into the mid-spring (first spring) .

In the 1940s, Hermann Flohn used the term early spring (abbreviated Fv) as a singularity for the period between the 13th and 14th centuries. and 22.-24. March specified. This definition describes a high pressure situation typical for Central Europe . This is followed by a cold snap at the beginning of the last week of March, which is called the March winter (pre-monsoon wave) . Other authors then also defined a first and second early spring , for example in the interval 23–27. March resp. 3rd to 4th April. However, subdivisions of the meteorological seasons that are too fine-grained have not caught on; they are mostly too local or, with occurrence frequencies around 50%, are not significant enough.

The phenological calendar determines the actual occurrence of the beginning of vegetation in the year. In order to be able to measure this, indicator plants and / or characteristic animal behavior are determined , which can be used to statistically determine the progression from south to north ( isochronous model ), and how far the year has progressed on site compared to others. The early spring as phenological season starts in Central Europe usually in late February or early March.

The typical early spring bloomers are mostly "bumblebee flowers" because the bumblebees are a group of bees that can fly at much lower temperatures and can therefore start pollinating earlier .

In the Chinese farmer's calendar , which divides the year into 24 subdivisions, the “ beginning of spring” ( 立春 , lìchūn ) falls on the 4th / 5th. February, “Rainwater” ( 雨水 , yǔshuǐ ) on the 19th and 20th. February, "Awakening of the insects" ( 驚蟄 , jīngzhé ) on the 5th / 6th. March, and the spring equinox 20./21. March means "mid-spring" ( 春分 , chūnfēn ). According to the weather rules, which mainly apply to northern China , after Lichun it is the time of spring plowing ; after Yushui there should be no more snow. The New Year (Spring Festival), which is calculated according to the lunar calendar , falls between January 21st and February 21st. 15 days later, between February 5th and March 7th, the spring festivities end with the Lantern Festival .

Road in the snow / early spring by Ernst Oppler

Early spring was also dealt with several times in culture: in particular, the phenomenological diversity of a season of transition attracted the writers to an argument. Well-known early spring poems were written by Hugo von Hofmannsthal and the expressionist poet August Stramm . Two paintings by Ernst Oppler have survived that deal with early spring: the road in the snow / early spring and the bridge in the early spring .


  • Peter Bissolli, Christian-Dietrich Schoenwiese: Calendar -related weather phenomena in a new light. In: Naturwissenschaftliche Rundschau , 44 (1991) 5, ISSN  0028-1050 , pp. 169-175
  • Hans Peter Buohler (ed.): It already smells of violets. Poems for early spring. Reclam, Stuttgart 2014, ISBN 978-3-15-010978-6

Individual evidence

  1. cf. for example the diagram of snow depths in early winter (November, December), high winter (January, February) and late winter (March, April) at the three stations of Andermatt, Bever and Davos. In: Stephan Bader, Pierre Kunz: Climate Risks - Challenge for Switzerland. Final report NFP 31, vdf Hochschulverlag AG, 1998, ISBN 978-3-7281-2605-4 , p. 56 ( limited preview in the Google book search);
    Martin Schneebeli: Interactions between climate, avalanches and technical measures. Final report within the framework of the National Research Program "Climate Change and Natural Disasters" NRP 31, vdf Hochschulverlag AG, 1998, ISBN 978-3-7281-2604-7 , 3.5 Snow depths in early, high and late winter , p. 46 ff ( limited preview in the google book search)
  2. H. Flohn, P. Hess: Large weather singularities in the annual weather pattern of Central Europe (= statistical-synoptic investigations 2). In: Meteorological and Hydrological Service of the German Democratic Republic: Meteorologische Rundschau 2, 1949, pp. 258–263.
  3. cf. Göttingen singularities , weather station Göttingen
  4. a b Vorfrühling , ZAMG: Phenology
  5. ^ First bloom , ZAMG : Phenology
  6. bud , ZAMG: phenology
  7. Schossen , ZAMG: Phenology
  8. Aussaat , ZAMG: Phenology
  9. ^ Budding / rising , ZAMG: Phenology
  10. The new word: Winter solstice ( Memento of the original from January 25, 2012 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot / www.oai.de archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. . In: East Asia Institute, University of Applied Sciences Ludwigshafen am Rhein: Kaleidoskop , December 21, 2011

Web links

Wiktionary: Vorfrühling  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations